Thursday, November 18, 2010

How efective are children's cough medications?

Upper respiratory infectious are the most common condition in the world and for decades over the counter (OTC) medications have been produced and sold for the relief of the associated symptoms. Because these medications are OTC the FDA has not exercised strict control although in 2007 the FDA did recommend that they not be used for children under six. When we look at the evidence a consistent message emerges relative to the effectiveness of OTC medications for adult and children’s coughs. That message is that they are not effective and could potentially cause harm. There are, however, other more natural approaches that appear to be somewhat effective in relieving the associated symptoms of upper respiratory infections.

A clinical trial comparing honey, dextromethorphan and no treatment found that “…parents rated honey most favorably for symptomatic relief of their child's nocturnal cough and sleep difficulty due to upper respiratory tract infection.” In a more recent trial (November 2010) simple vapor rub, petrolatum and no treatment were compared and the authors concluded that “Despite mild irritant adverse effects, VR provided symptomatic relief for children and allowed them and their parents to have a more restful night than those in the other study groups.” A Cochrane Review of the effectiveness of over the counter medications also concluded that “There is no good evidence for or against the effectiveness of OTC medicines in acute cough”. In yet another study comparing two common medications with no treatment found “Diphenhydramine and dextromethorphan are not superior to placebo in providing nocturnal symptom relief for children with cough and sleep difficulty as a result of an upper respiratory infection. Furthermore, the medications given to children do not result in improved quality of sleep for their parents when compared with placebo. Each clinician should consider these findings, the potential for adverse effects, and the individual and cumulative costs of the drugs before recommending them to families.”

Millions of dollars are spent promoting cough suppressants and other medications for relief of upper respiratory infections and the profits are staggering. Some authors suggest that the use of these products are somewhat engrained in our culture and it will take years of patient education and perhaps more action by the FDA to reduce the risk to society.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Introducing SpiderTech!

SpiderTech is not just for elite athletes... Ask us about how SpiderTech can help chronic neck and lower back pain, arthritis aches and pains, swelling and much more...

Dr. Susan AlbersAuthor, 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food and Eating Mindfully

Posted: September 7, 2010 12:50 PM BIO Become a Fan Get Email Alerts Bloggers' Index

5 Kids' Meals to Avoid at All Cost

I was riding in the car with a friend and her three-year-old this weekend. As we passed a McDonalds, her daughter began to hum a familiar jingle. She ended it with, "I'm lovin' it." Needless to say, I should not have been surprised. If you are the parent of a toddler, you know that kids are not immune to marketing. They soak it in like a sponge. Think of how many times you have caught yourself humming the slogan from a fast food restaurant -- one you may not even like but the tune is awfully catchy.

According to a study in Psychology and Marketing, kids as young as age three have already learned brand recognition and logos. Around age three, they start feeling pressure to have the right "stuff." Preschoolers begin forming definite opinions about the kind of food and toys they like best. For example, they know whether they like McDonalds versus Taco Bell or Disney versus My Pretty Pony. It's no wonder marketers are targeting kids earlier and earlier.

One layer of changing children's relationship to food is taking a close look at the marketing of it. A recent study by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) looked at meals that are heavily marketed towards kids. They analyzed menu items from five major fast food chains.

They deemed the Mighty Kids Meals as the worst (nutrient content). Notice that marketing is not just tiny tots anymore. Tweens (or preteens) have been an untapped market. The Mighty Kids Meal is a meal from McDonald's designed for preteens. These tweens are older than those who might eat a Happy Meal. The Mighty Kids Meals provides more food than what you would find in a Happy Meal.

Here are the five worst fast food kids meals (according to PCRM's study):


McDonald's Mighty Kids Meal: Double Cheeseburger, French fries, and chocolate milk.
840 calories, 37 grams of fat

2nd Worst
Wendy's Kids Meal: Chicken Sandwich, French fries and chocolate Frosty. 770 calories, 34 grams of fat.

3rd Worst
KFC Kids Meal: Popcorn chicken, potato wedges, string cheese and soda. 800 calories, 1,800 milligrams of sodium.

4th Worst
A&W Kids Meal: Cheeseburger, French fries and soda. 780 calories, 9 grams of saturated fat.

5th Worst
Burger King's BK Kids: Breakfast muffin sandwich meal. 95 milligrams of cholesterol (exceeds the Institute of Medicine's limit on sodium intake.)

Consider the potential impact of this meal and other unhealthy foods on a developing brain. Not to mention that food impacts mood. If your teen is going through a phase as it is, could the foods they eat make their emotional highs and lows just a little worse? It's definitely a challenge to feed your kids in a healthy and quick manner. Knowing the facts and what to avoid is important.

Use your child's tendency to learn and regurgitate slogans to your advantage. Teach mindful eating from day one. I saw a mom handing her preschool daughter a banana and singing the Chiquita banana song. Her daughter laughed, joined right in the song and happily ate the banana. Try your own social marketing campaign with your kids. Much better than leaving it up to the T.V. and marketers who have an agenda.

Susan Albers, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in eating issues, weight loss, body image concerns, and mindfulness. She is author of 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food, Eating Mindfully, Eat, Drink, and Be Mindful, and Mindful Eating 101. Visit Albers online at www.eatingmindfully.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cancer cells slurp up fructose, US study finds

* Study shows fructose used differently from glucose
* Findings challenge common wisdom about sugars

WASHINGTON, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Pancreatic tumor cells use fructose to divide and proliferate, U.S. researchers said on Monday in a study that challenges the common wisdom that all sugars are the same.
Tumor cells fed both glucose and fructose used the two sugars in two different ways, the team at the University of California Los Angeles found.

They said their finding, published in the journal Cancer Research, may help explain other studies that have linked fructose intake with pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancer types. "These findings show that cancer cells can readily metabolize fructose to increase proliferation," Dr. Anthony Heaney of UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center and colleagues wrote.

"They have major significance for cancer patients given dietary refined fructose consumption, and indicate that efforts to reduce refined fructose intake or inhibit fructose-mediated actions may disrupt cancer growth."
Americans take in large amounts of fructose, mainly in high fructose corn syrup, a mix of fructose and glucose that is used in soft drinks, bread and a range of other foods.

Politicians, regulators, health experts and the industry have debated whether high fructose corn syrup and other ingredients have been helping make Americans fatter and less healthy.

Too much sugar of any kind not only adds pounds, but is also a key culprit in diabetes, heart disease and stroke, according to the American Heart Association. Several states, including New York and California, have weighed a tax on sweetened soft drinks to defray the cost of treating obesity-related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

The American Beverage Association, whose members include Coca-Cola (KO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Kraft Foods (KFT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have strongly, and successfully, opposed efforts to tax soda. [ID:nN12233126]

The industry has also argued that sugar is sugar. Heaney said his team found otherwise. They grew pancreatic cancer cells in lab dishes and fed them both glucose and fructose. Tumor cells thrive on sugar but they used the fructose to proliferate. "Importantly, fructose and glucose metabolism are quite different," Heaney's team wrote.

"I think this paper has a lot of public health implications. Hopefully, at the federal level there will be some effort to step back on the amount of high fructose corn syrup in our diets," Heaney said in a statement.
Now the team hopes to develop a drug that might stop tumor cells from making use of fructose.

U.S. consumption of high fructose corn syrup went up 1,000 percent between 1970 and 1990, researchers reported in 2004 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

(Reporting by Maggie Fox; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Introducing revitALIVE
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You will receive step-by-step guidelines to making long term changes in your eating habits, and to provide a balance of healthy nutrients to fuel your body for optimum health and performance.

You'll receive:   One-on-one consultations
                           Grocery lists
                           The proper number of meals
                           The size of your meals
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And best of all, we will customize your meal plan to take into account your food preferences such as vegetarian diets, gluten-free diets, and specific food likes and dislikes.

Call us today at 407-332-1904 to set up an initial consultation so that we can explain the program to you in more detail and answer any questions you may have.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Chiropractic for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

When people think “chiropractic,” they often think of back and neck problems. But chiropractic has many applications beyond these typical uses, and it can improve quality of life for a broad range of health conditions. One such condition is carpal tunnel syndrome, a repetitive stress injury (RSI). Chiropractic can be a beneficial treatment for patients seeking noninvasive relief from this ailment that has become all too common in the modern world.

How Does a Chiropractor Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive stress injury (RSI). This category of injuries is caused by repetitive motion, such as typing or assembly line work, which causes pain and injury over time. The earlier that an RSI is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome can be. Diagnosis includes physical examination and possibly x-rays. Typically, the chiropractic treatment for RSI includes manipulation of the affected wrist and elbow, as well as manipulation of the upper spine. A spinal manipulation involves applying controlled pressure to a joint. The chiropractor may also advise the patient to rest the affected arm, apply cold to reduce inflammation, perform appropriate exercises, or wear a splint or brace to immobilize the area.

Some common treatments chiropractors use for carpal tunnel syndrome include:

Manipulation of the wrist, arm, and upper spine: Misalignment in the spine could contribute to symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) perform adjustments (also called spinal manipulations) that aim to correct improper alignment in the spine. The chiropractor typically performs an adjustment using his or her hands, but sometimes devices are employed. Chiropractors may also adjust and treat other areas of the body as needed, including the wrist and arm.

Ultrasound therapy: This therapy uses either very high-energy or low-energy sound, both of which are outside the range of normal human hearing. The chiropractor uses a device that emits focused sound waves that penetrate deep into body tissue. Sound waves can relax muscles, alleviate pain, and reduce inflammation.

Wrist supports: Wrist supports seek to keep the wrist in the proper alignment and can be used to treat or prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chiropractic and Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches are vascular headaches, arising from sudden dilation of the blood vessels of the head. No one knows exactly what causes migraine headaches, though the basic mechanism, involving both the nervous and vascular systems, is well studied. Migraines can be triggered by hormonal changes, foods, smells, weather changes, stress, and many other triggers. The headaches often begin with symptoms other than pain, such as visual auras, nausea or sensitivity to light and sound. The headache that follows can vary in intensity, but is often severe. Many migraine sufferers have found over-the-counter pain medications to be ineffective, and resign themselves to wait out the migraine event in a dark, quiet room. A variety of pharmaceutical drugs have been developed to treat migraines, but none of them work for everyone, and many have unwanted side effects.

Chiropractic can play an important role in treating migraines. Clinical studies, though still preliminary, suggest that chiropractic may have a measurable role in the prevention of migraines. Through manipulation and adjustments of the spine and neck, migraines can often be reduced or prevented. Nerves control vascular system tension, and chiropractic adjustments reduce irritation of the nervous system beginning with its roots in the spine, also improving vascular flow.

How Will a Doctor of Chiropractic Treat Headaches?

The fundamental technique of chiropractic, spinal manipulation, is used improve spinal alignment, reduce nerve irritation, relax muscle tension and improve vascular flow. Trigger point therapy, massage and other adjunct therapies may also be employed to broaden the treatment plan. Finally, the chiropractor will often recommend exercise, stretching and changes in posture, or teach relaxation techniques.

For preventive care, most chiropractors will also provide advice on nutritional supplements, vitamins, herbs, and diet toward the development of a long-term wellness plan to prevent future headaches.

Chiropractic care can provide a holistic, comprehensive treatment plan for chronic headaches, giving patients an opportunity to put an end to what can be a very stubborn type of pain and a considerable improvement in quality of life.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Meditation reduces your risk of hearth death.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has reached a first-ever finding: patients with coronary heart disease who practiced meditation had a nearly 50 percent lower rate of heart attack, stroke, and death compared to a matched group that didn't meditate. In addition to a dramatic reduction in the risk of death, heart attacks, and strokes in the TM group, the researchers found a clinically significant reduction in blood pressure. Mediation also reduced psychological stress in a subgroup of patients who were experiencing high levels of anxiety and other signs of stress.

Meditation can generally be divided into two categories: concentration methods, which emphasize focusing on your breathing or a specific object; and mindfulness meditation, which usually uses chants, focused breathing, or repetitive thoughts. The goal in either case is to allow thoughts, feelings, and emotions to appear moment by moment without placing any attention on them. Simply let the thoughts enter. Acknowledge them and let them go, allowing yourself to tap into your inner self.

Conscious Breathing

In basic breathing exercises, all you need is a quiet place and a willingness to quiet the mind. Conscious breathing reduces stress and allows you to filter out the constant mind chatter. Quieting the mind offers the opportunity to get in touch with your inner self. A conscious breathing exercise can be done any time of day and as often as you wish. Use it as a powerful stress-busting tool when you are feeling overwhelmed:

Bring your attention to your breathing. Notice the flow of breath in and out of your lungs. Take a deep breath in through your nose, allowing the air to fill your lungs. Slowly exhale through your mouth. Observe the rhythm that naturally occurs. Acknowledge any distracting thoughts, and simply let them go when they appear. Return your attention to the rhythm of your breathing. Continue to take deep breaths in and out. When it feels natural, try allowing more time between each breath. Pause when appropriate, and feel the inner peace. Enjoy the freedom from mind chatter.

Meditation may be especially helpful for chronic pain. Other studies have shown the effectiveness of meditation for anxiety, substance abuse, skin ailments, and depression.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Vegetables may delay Alzheimer's Diease.

Researchers now report that a diet rich in polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids could have a significant effect combating the cognitive function decline during both aging and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Grapes, cocoa, olive oil, and nuts are rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant, and oily fish and vegetables such as corn and soybeans are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Researchers have observed that mice fed a polyphenol and fatty-acid enriched diet had a significantly higher amount of stem cells, as well as new differentiated cells, in the olfactory bulb and hippocampus regions of the brain, both of which are damaged in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. Further, the team noted that the diet diminished oxidative damage in the hippocampal and cortical cells of the brain.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chiropractic for Arthritis

Arthritis is known by many names—but all of them indicate a condition that can be both painful and debilitating. In some manifestations, it is an autoimmune disorder of the joints, and in other it occurs when the cartilage that lines the joint surfaces wears out. In fact, it comprises over 100 diseases and conditions. Chiropractic has been proven remarkably effective in treating arthritis and its symptoms, both in genetic and non-genetic related forms of arthritis.

How Can Chiropractic Help Arthritis?

Chiropractic for arthritis addresses the practical issue of getting the body to move more freely. Once the body is aligned to move with fewer restrictions, the need for pain-relieving medications lessens, or disappears altogether.

Chiropractic as a regular treatment will also help prevent arthritis, or at least its damaging effects. This form of prevention is probably the most crucial benefit in treating the disease. The lifestyle changes and therapies associated with chiropractic will influence diet, exercise, and maintaining the body’s alignment that practitioners believe will offset health problems that might accompany arthritis. Proper weight and a healthy immune system are both important factors in limiting the devastating effects of all forms of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Chiropractic—and the holistic health practices that often accompany it—offers multiple benefits in offsetting the dreaded effects of this disease that can take so many undesirable forms for so many people.

Why use Chiropractic for Arthritis?

The basis for Chiropractic care is centered in the body’s ability to heal itself. By correcting joint and spine dislocations, a chiropractor helps increase range of motion in the body, which assists in movement. Chiropractic and its complementary treatments, which include nutrition and lifestyle choices such as exercise and massage therapy, can be used as a preventive measure in developing arthritis or to help relieve the serious mobility issues. Because Chiropractic focuses on physical manipulation, joints can be directly adjusted in order to reduce pain. In general, the stiffness and pain that can result from various forms of arthritis can be alleviated with chiropractic treatment.

Once arthritis occurs does occur, chiropractic’s use of spinal manipulation can result in the diminishing of pain by assisting the overall physical health, resulting in greater ease of movement and decreased fluid build up in the joints that often accompanies arthritic conditions. The use of massage in chiropractic care can also ease stiffness and encourage movement. The application of heat and cold presses has been shown to ease arthritic pain. The use of electrical stimulation in chiropractic treatment is believed to stimulate pain-inhibiting chemicals in the human body, also known as endorphins, and block the nerve fibers that are responsible for pain.

Using chiropractic instead of prescription medicines for pain relief, or over-the-counter medications such as NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), can reduce the chances of experiencing harmful side effects from long-term use. It offers a non-invasive method of maintaining physical health and addresses such conditions as arthritis in a way that will offer freedom of movement without the deteriorating effects that might come with medication.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The dangers of Gluten!

Something you're eating may be killing you, and you probably don't even know it!
If you eat cheeseburgers or French fries all the time or drink six sodas a day, you likely know you are shortening your life. But eating a nice dark, crunchy slice of whole wheat bread--how could that be bad for you?

Well, bread contains gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and oats. It is hidden in pizza, pasta, bread, wraps, rolls, and most processed foods. Clearly, gluten is a staple of the American diet.

What most people don't know is that gluten can cause serious health complications for many. You may be at risk even if you don't have full blown celiac disease.

In today's blog I want to reveal the truth about gluten, explain the dangers, and provide you with a simple system that will help you determine whether or not gluten is a problem for you.

The Dangers of Gluten

A recent large study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people with diagnosed, undiagnosed, and "latent" celiac disease or gluten sensitivity had a higher risk of death, mostly from heart disease and cancer. (i)

This study looked at almost 30,00 patients from 1969 to 2008 and examined deaths in three groups: Those with full-blown celiac disease, those with inflammation of their intestine but not full-blown celiac disease, and those with latent celiac disease or gluten sensitivity (elevated gluten antibodies but negative intestinal biopsy).

The findings were dramatic. There was a 39 percent increased risk of death in those with celiac disease, 72 percent increased risk in those with gut inflammation related to gluten, and 35 percent increased risk in those with gluten sensitivity but no celiac disease.

This is ground-breaking research that proves you don't have to have full-blown celiac disease with a positive intestinal biopsy (which is what conventional thinking tells us) to have serious health problems and complications--even death--from eating gluten.

Yet an estimated 99 percent of people who have a problem with eating gluten don't even know it. They ascribe their ill health or symptoms to something else--not gluten sensitivity, which is 100 percent curable.

And here's some more shocking news ...

Another study comparing the blood of 10,000 people from 50 years ago to 10,000 people today found that the incidences of full-blown celiac disease increased by 400 percent (elevated TTG antibodies) during that time period. (ii) If we saw a 400 percent increase in heart disease or cancer, this would be headline news. But we hear almost nothing about this. I will explain why I think that increase has occurred in a moment. First, let's explore the economic cost of this hidden epidemic.

Undiagnosed gluten problems cost the American healthcare system oodles of money. Dr. Peter Green, Professor of Clinical Medicine for the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University studied all 10 million subscribers to CIGNA and found those who were correctly diagnosed with celiac disease used fewer medical services and reduced their healthcare costs by more than 30 perecnt. (iii) The problem is that only one percent of those with the problem were actually diagnosed. That means 99 percent are walking around suffering without knowing it, costing the healthcare system millions of dollars.

And it's not just a few who suffer, but millions. Far more people have gluten sensitivity than you think--especially those who are chronically ill. The most serious form of allergy to gluten, celiac disease, affects one in 100 people, or three million Americans, most of who don't know they have it. But milder forms of gluten sensitivity are even more common and may affect up to one-third of the American population.

Why haven't you heard much about this?

Well, actually you have, but you just don't realize it. Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity masquerade as dozens and dozens of other diseases with different names.

Gluten Sensitivity: One Cause, Many Diseases

A review paper in The New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 "diseases" that can be caused by eating gluten. (iv) These include osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores, (v) and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and almost all other autoimmune diseases. Gluten is also linked to many psychiatric (vi) and neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression, (vii) schizophrenia, (viii) dementia, (ix) migraines, epilepsy, and neuropathy (nerve damage). (x) It has also been linked to autism.(ix)

We used to think that gluten problems or celiac disease were confined to children who had diarrhea, weight loss, and failure to thrive. Now we know you can be old, fat, and constipated and still have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Gluten sensitivity is actually an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation throughout the body, with wide-ranging effects across all organ systems including your brain, heart, joints, digestive tract, and more. It can be the single cause behind many different "diseases." To correct these diseases, you need to treat the cause--which is often gluten sensitivity--not just the symptoms.
Of course, that doesn't mean that ALL cases of depression or autoimmune disease or any of these other problems are caused by gluten in everyone--but it is important to look for it if you have any chronic illness.

By failing to identify gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, we create needless suffering and death for millions of Americans. Health problems caused by gluten sensitivity cannot be treated with better medication. They can only be resolved by eliminating 100 percent of the gluten from your diet.

To find out if you are one of the millions of people suffering from an unidentified gluten sensitivity, just follow this simple procedure.

The Elimination/Reintegration Diet

While testing can help identify gluten sensivity, the only way you will know if this is really a problem for you is to eliminate all gluten for a short period of time (2 to 4 weeks) and see how you feel. Get rid of the following foods:

• Gluten (barley, rye, oats, spelt, kamut, wheat, triticale--see for a complete list of foods that contain gluten, as well as often surprising and hidden sources of gluten.)
• Hidden sources (soup mixes, salad dressings, sauces, as well as lipstick, certain vitamins, medications, stamps and envelopes you have to lick, and even Play-Doh.)

For this test to work you MUST eliminate 100 percent of the gluten from your diet--no exceptions, no hidden gluten, and not a single crumb of bread.

Then eat it again and see what happens. If you feel bad at all, you need to stay off gluten permanently. This will teach you better than any test about the impact gluten has on your body.